UN Secretary-General’s 2022 report highlights reprisals against MENA-based activists, including cases of digital surveillance
On September 29, 2022, the United Nations (UN) Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, presented the annual report of the UN Secretary-General on intimidation and reprisals against those cooperating with the UN, its representatives and mechanisms.
MENA Rights Group highlights widespread practice of enforced disappearance in the United Arab Emirates in general allegation to the UN
MENA Rights Group submitted a general allegation to the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances highlighting obstacles to the implementation of the 1992 Declaration on the Protection of all Persons from Enforced Disappearance in the United Arab Emirates.
In November 2021, Emirati state news agency WAM announced the amendment of 40 federal laws.[i] The announced legal changes included the enactment of a new Federal Crime and Punishment Law (penal code) that came into force in January 2022.[ii] This new code replaced the previous one, which dated from 1987.
On April 6, 2022, the Human Rights Committee evaluated Lebanon’s efforts to tackle violence against women, including domestic and sexual violence, safeguard the human rights of refugees, asylum seekers and migrant domestic workers in light of its last Concluding Observations. Regarding the situation of refugees and asylum seekers in Lebanon, MENA Rights Group and the Global Detention Project published a joint report explaining the ways in which the situation has worsened since 2018. Echoing our concerns, the Committee found that the State of Lebanon failed to implement most recommendations addressing the matter.
On March 7-8, 2022, the UN Human Rights Committee examined Iraq’s sixth periodic report to assess the human rights situation in the country. The Committee monitors the implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which Iraq ratified in 1971. In their Concluding Observations, adopted following the review of Iraq, the UN experts raised, among others, the issue of enforced disappearance and torture, accountability efforts for ISIL’s crimes, the use of the death penalty and the attacks on the rights to freedom of expression and assembly.
This analysis discusses the practice of “rotation” which is increasingly used by the Egyptian authorities to circumvent the maximum periods of pre-trial detention, and raises serious due process and fair trial concerns.
On December 6, 2021, MENA Rights Group and the Prisoners’ Rights Center of the Tripoli Bar Association provided the Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers with information on the exercise of the lawyer's profession. The joint submission will help the Special Rapporteur prepare its forthcoming report to the Human Rights Council (2022) focusing on protection of lawyers from undue interferences lawyers may face in the free and independent exercise of the legal profession.
UN Secretary General’s 2021 report highlights ongoing acts of reprisals against MENA-based human rights defenders, lawyers and CSOs
On September 29, 2021, Ms. Ilze Brands Kehris, the United Nations (UN) Assistant Secretary General for Human Rights, presented the 12th annual report of the UN Secretary General on cases of intimidation and reprisals against individuals cooperating with the UN, its representatives and mechanisms.
On November 23, 2010, Iraq became the twentieth State to ratify the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (ICPPED). Yet more than a decade after signing this landmark convention, Iraq continues to have one of the highest numbers of forcibly disappeared persons worldwide. The International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances on August 30 gives rise to the question of why.
Oman responds to UN member states’ recommendations issued during the country's last universal periodic review
On January 21, 2021, Oman’s human rights record was reviewed during Oman’s third periodic review before the UN Human Rights Council. The Omani delegation accepted 208 of the 264 recommendations it was presented with, took note of 49 of them and partially accepted and took note of 7 other recommendations. While Oman accepted the member states’ recommendation to ratify the ICCPR, the Omani delegation refrained from accepting recommendations geared towards abolishing the death penalty, amending legislation to protect fundamental freedoms in the country and withdrawing their reservations to previously ratified human rights instruments.
Following the third cycle of the Universal Periodic Review, Mauritania informed the Human Rights Council of its decision to accept 201 out of the 266 recommendations it had received. While the authorities accepted recommendations on the fight against human trafficking, torture and racial discrimination, it did not accept those pertaining to the abolition of the death penalty. On issues related to the protection of freedom of expression, religion and association, the government provided mixed responses.